School/Agency Partnerships

BGSU Perspective on Teacher Preparation Partnership

It is the belief of Bowling Green State University that the preparation of teachers is a shared responsibility between the College of Education and Human Development, local pre-K, elementary, middle/junior high and secondary schools, and community agencies. In this spirit of partnership, the University should provide the basic preparation and instruction in the general education phases of the teacher candidate's programs and in the areas of specialization and professional theory. It should provide also for supervisory and coordinating services related to all professional laboratory experiences, which includes the student teaching internship. Local schools and community agencies provide the laboratory facilities for observation and participation, as well as personnel for mentoring, monitoring, and evaluating teacher candidates.

Mutual understanding and respect are key factors in a partnership of this nature. To secure such, it is important that there be a clear understanding and an acceptance of certain "action" principles. It is paramount that lines of responsibility be defined in written agreements and that lines of communication be kept open between all personnel involved in each partnership. To this end, a formal Memorandum of Understanding between each school/agency is reviewed and signed annually. These signed documents are housed in the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships.

Principles Applying to the Partnering School/Agency Partners

  1. Community agencies and local schools who provide laboratory facilities for observation and participation (including methods and student teaching internships) should offer their facilities with the full knowledge and approval of the chief administrative officer and board of directors/board of education.
  2. An explanation of the purposes of each professional laboratory experience, when understood by the agency/local school, will promote goodwill and the cooperation of all. 
  3. The selection of enthusiastic, competent, and understanding agency personnel, field faculty, and classroom mentor teachers will contribute to the success of teacher candidates.
  4. The teacher candidate should be provided with descriptive statements of agency and school policy, as they relate to the varied aspects of the agency/school. 
  5. The teacher candidate should be provided the opportunity to see the "whole" agency/school, to participate in staff activities, and to observe multiple personnel in a variety of settings with a variety of participants.

Communication Protocol

It is imperative that the communication protocol be consistently followed in all matters of the field laboratory experiences. Teacher Candidates need a clear hierarchy to follow to receive structured help and or advice in successfully completing their field-based experiences. School partners and agency personnel need to see consistency in problem resolution and further need quality feedback when information is sought. TCs and field faculty, classroom mentor teachers, and agency personnel must adhere to this communication protocol for all questions and help in quickly resolving any issues that may arise during the field experience.

Teacher Candidates (TCs)

If a teacher candidate encounters a problem while in a field laboratory setting, he/she should address the issue by contacting:

  1. Field Faculty or Classroom Mentor Teacher
  2. Course Instructor
  3. Program Coordinator (PC)
  4. Assistant Dean for Educator Preparation and Partnerships is the final person in the communication protocol

Communication Protocol for Teacher Candidates

Field Faculty/Classroom Mentor Teacher /Agency Personnel

If Field Faculty, Classroom Mentor Teachers or Agency Personnel encounter a problem with a teacher candidate, the issue should be addressed by communicating with:

  1. Teacher Candidate (TC)
  2. University Mentor (UM) should be contacted next if Teacher Candidate is in Professional year.
  3. Assistant Dean for Educator Preparation and Partnerships is the final person in the communication protocol

A Classroom Mentor Teacher who encounters a problem with a University Mentor, should address the issue by communicating with:

  1. University Mentor (UM)
  2. Assistant Dean for Educator Preparation and Partnerships is the final person in the communication protocol

Communication Protocol for Classroom Mentor Teachers

University Mentor (UM) for Professional Year Teacher Candidates Only
UM will follow a similar communication protocol while meeting the needs of the TCs they serve.

  1. First, the UM should document discussions with the TC and CMT regarding the issues or concerns;
  2. If there is no resolution, the next person with whom to confer is the Lead Mentor of the region;
  3. Assistant Dean for Educator Preparation and Partnerships is the final person in the communication protocol

Communication Protocol for University Mentors

If all attempts to correct issues/problems have been unsuccessful, the teacher candidate will be referred to the Student Support Team.

Dismissal Policy

The Teacher Candidate (TC) may be dismissed from a field laboratory site by order of the following:

  1. The field site school administrator or agency administrator
  2. Field Faculty or the Classroom Mentor Teacher (CMT) or Agency Personnel
  3. Student Support Team (SST)

Circumstances under which a TC may be dismissed include but are not limited to:

  1. Non-adherence to school/agency policies and/or procedures.
  2. If at any point it is determined the TC does not have a current, valid BCI&I/FBI background check.
  3. Failure to comply with field site and BGSU attendance and punctuality directives.
  4. Failure to complete tasks in a timely, appropriate manner, including early submission of lesson plans and/or other documents as requested by the school or agency.
  5. Failure to meet BGSU program requirements.
  6. Failure to meet moral and ethical standards of the profession as defined by the school, the agency and/or the University.
  7. Insubordination.
  8. Failure to fulfill the BGSU TC contract and/or Student Support Plan.\

Dismissal Procedure

If a school/agency administrator, or field faculty/classroom mentor teacher/agency personnel or SST decides that a TC is to be dismissed from the professional laboratory setting, the TC will receive a failing grade. If the SST has not been involved in the dismissal decision, an SST meeting will be initiated. The TC may have the opportunity to re-enroll in professional laboratory experience only in a subsequent semester, dependent upon the grounds for dismissal and only after a Student Support Plan, as designed by the SST, is successfully completed.

TB Test Policy

Teacher Candidates do not need to submit evidence to the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships that they have been tested for tuberculosis. 

Criminal Background Check

State law mandates that persons working with vulnerable populations (i.e., school children, individuals in health & elder care facilities, etc.) undergo both Ohio BCI (Bureau of Criminal Investigation) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) background checks to ensure clearance for site visitations. Results are valid for one year from date of completion. Thus, teacher candidates must maintain a valid background check throughout the entire semester in which the professional laboratory experience is completed. Teacher candidates are strongly encouraged to complete background checks each summer, ensuring uninterrupted work in schools/agencies across the academic year. Field Faculty/Classroom Teachers, School Administrators, and/or District Liaisons may request copies of the teacher candidate's background checks from the teacher candidate.

Substitutes

Teacher candidates cannot be used as substitutes for (a) teachers in the classroom, (b) school-sponsored non-teaching activities (ex. playground, cafeteria, recess) or (c) agency personnel. Field faculty, classroom mentor teachers or other designated teachers and agency personnel must be available for help and guidance at all times. 

Corporal Punishment

Most schools and agencies have adopted policies prohibiting the use of corporal punishment. A teacher candidate is not to administer corporal punishment nor serve as a witness in those schools/agencies that still allow this form of discipline. 

Strikes, Boycotts, Work Stoppages, Riots

The teacher candidate must not report for duty or be in or near the assigned school or agency in the event of strikes, study days, work stoppages, or riots. The teacher candidate should report such a situation to the Office of Educator Preparation and Partnerships immediately and follow directions provided by the Office and/or College.